Hastings Priory coach Ian Gillespie says the cricket club must win its next two games as it seeks to rise into the promotion spots.
Third-placed Priory will host sixth-placed Burgess Hill today (Saturday) before travelling to seventh-placed Lindfield next weekend in 1st Central Sussex Cricket League Division Two.
Priory are 15 points outside the two promotion places at present, but would have been top of the table had they won with maximum points, instead of lost, at Haywards Heath last weekend.
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Gillespie said: “We’ve got Burgess Hill and Lindfield coming up, and we’ve got to win those two. Because we’ve lost a couple, it puts us under more pressure than we would like. I won’t say we’re playing catch-up, but there’s work to be done.
“The games with Lindfield and Burgess Hill are going to be quite intense affairs because we’ve got to get two victories.”
Priory, who will visit leaders St James’s Montefiore in two weeks’ time, have won three and lost two of their first five games, all of which have been played under the 45-overs-per-side win/lose limited overs format.
The format now changes to ‘declaration’ games for weeks 6-14, with draws now entering the equation if the team batting second isn’t bowled out.
“I think we would’ve liked four (wins),” continued Gillespie. “We were capable of winning all of them, but we played an inspired bowling performance (against Billingshurst), and both Bognor and Haywards Heath were at their strongest.
“I think there’s been lots of encouraging signs, but what we need to do is get a run going. That builds confidence across the whole side.
“It’s going to be quite a tough league I think, but it should be an enjoyable league to participate in.”
Fast bowler Adam Pye has suffered a setback in his recovery from injury and won’t be fit for today’s game, and possibly not next week’s either. Jack Coleman is expected to be unavailable, but Priory hope to have fellow spinner Jed O’Brien back.
“I think our squad of 12 or 13 is a good one and we’ve got a great side when they’re all there, but we just haven’t got the depth,” added Gillespie.
1st Central Sussex Cricket League Division Two standings (all played 5 matches): 1 St James’s Montefiore 131pts, 2 Billingshurst 129, 3 HASTINGS PRIORY 114, 4 Bognor Regis 106, 5 Haywards Heath 105, 6 Burgess Hill 89, 7 Lindfield 82, 8 Chichester Priory Park 81, 9 Ifield 60, 10 Goring By Sea 41.